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VERNACULAR

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VERNACULAR

Postby Dr. Goodword » Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:11 am

• vernacular •

Pronunciation: vêr--kyu-lêr • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. The colloquial or spoken language as distinguished from the written literary language. 2. A regional or professional dialect, such as the vernacular of the Pennsylvania Dutch or the vernacular of a used car salesman. 3. Style, as the architectural vernacular of Western US buildings.

Notes: Today's word is the one you want to use in referring to the ordinary spoken language as opposed to the formal written language, as the English vernacular of Long Island. The noun expressing the nature of a vernacular is vernacularity, as the vernacularity (use of vernacular) detectable in someone's writing. A word or expression that is used only in a vernacular is a vernacularism, as 'hood for neighborhoods is a Black English vernacularism.

In Play: This word is, first and foremost, a somewhat more poetic synonym of dialect: "Vernon, you've been living here in Corncob Hollow so long you are beginning to pick up the vernacular." However, vernaculars also distinguish professions: "In police vernacular an arrest is a collar, so when Preston said his partner had a dirty collar yesterday, it was no reflection on Preston's wife."

Word History: Vernacular is an English adaptation of the Latin vernaculus "indigenous, domestic, native" from verna "a native, a slave born in the master's home", a word probably borrowed from Etruscan. It doesn't seem to be related to vernal "spring", as in vernal flowers or the vernal equinox. This word is based on an older Latin word, ver "spring". Beyond this, the origins of today's Good Word lies in a cloud of mystery that makes an Indo-European source highly unlikely. (Terri Watson, who speaks the vernacular of Georgia and a "Huny" of a contributor to our Alpha Agora, kindly suggested today's Good Word.)
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Postby Slava » Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:18 pm

It is a shame that Huny is one of the Agora's waysiders. As in "dropped by the".

I'd love to find an excuse to use vernacularity in conversation, or even in writing.
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:29 pm

Did you know the New Testament is written in vernacular Greek? Street talk. Classical education involved learning, reading, and translating Greek and Latin. So scholars automatically tried to read the NT from that classical perspective. The problem was that it didn't fit. So they created a lingo they called Biblical Greek with a sort of holy twist to it. Then in the early 20th century they found a mass of writings at Ras Shamra. It included letters, invoices, and all sorts of routine stuff. But it was the same dialect as the Bible. So they made a radical change in thought, recognizing that the NT was written in first century vernacular.
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Postby Slava » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:36 pm

Of course we also have to remember that vernacular is just another way of saying vulgar.
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:27 am

And vulgar is just another way of saying common.
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:37 am

The New English Bible, the New American Bible are
sort of attempts at vernacular as well.
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Jul 13, 2012 2:15 pm

The Message may be best at street talk. Today's Living Version is more accurate, but readable.
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Postby Philip Hudson » Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:30 pm

Remember that the standard Latin Bible translation is called the Vulgate. Compare the English word vulgar.

I vote we standardize on the NIV. No translation is perfect but if we don't have a standard translation, how are our children going to memorize the Bible? As for me personally, if the King James Bible was good enough for Peter and Paul, it is good enough for me. Seriously, no one will ever match the beauty of the KJV. It is also more accurate than it is given credit for being.
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Sat Jul 14, 2012 12:31 pm

In KJV Paul tells the Romans he wanted to visit them sooner, but "was let hitherto." "Let" has reversed meanings. The OT was translated from MSS at least 1000 yrs older than the DSS. We have uncovered about 5000 MSS of the NT since then to compare for best readings. Only those who enjoy Shakespeare will easily read King James. The new generation is put off by those. Personally, I prefer the now old RSV, but the NIV is becoming standard. Our church publishes a verse monthly from the NIV and encourages the members to memorize it. I suspect your wish is already coming true.
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Postby Philip Hudson » Sun Jul 15, 2012 12:49 am

Except for let as in "let ball".
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